Republican retracts ‘socialist' comment but not sorry
April 18th, 2011
08:32 AM ET
10 years ago

Republican retracts ‘socialist' comment but not sorry

(CNN) – Rep. Mo Brooks, the Alabama Republican who withdrew his statement on the House floor Friday that referred to his fellow congressmen as "socialists," says he's not sorry for the remark and thinks his colleagues are "thin skinned."

"I was making a point only about an economic system," Brooks, a first-term congressman, told his hometown paper, the Birmingham News.

The comments came during Brook's House floor speech while he was voicing opposition to a 2012 budget plan being proposed by several Democrats who make up the progressive caucus.

"Folks, we are here today forcing this issue because America is at risk. We are at risk of insolvency and bankruptcy because the socialist members of this body choose to spend money that we do not have," he said during the speech.

Rep. Keith Ellison, a Democrat, promptly interrupted Brooks, asking that his remarks be "taken down," a rare request that opens up the possibility for disciplinary action if the comments are later ruled inappropriate. Brooks instead asked that his remark be stricken from the record.

But in his interview with the Birmingham News, Brooks, who holds an economics degree from Duke, said he was merely defending the Republican economic view of free enterprise.

"People could quite clearly infer that socialism is what the other guys are promoting," he said.

"I was making a point only about an economic system," Brooks said.

Filed under: Congress
soundoff (68 Responses)
  1. Rosslaw

    He made his point. He's an idiot. Try cutting any of the "socialist" federal subsidies to Alabama agriculture or federal aid for the BP blowout and Comrade Mo will really be up in arms. And the Republican economic view is one of secret, no bid contracts which in war time kill American troops and protected monopolies like the health insurance industry which Republican refuse to subject to federal anti-trust laws.

    April 18, 2011 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  2. Joshua Ludd

    Well, if "the other guys" were actually anywhere near socialist he would have a point... but they are not... so, no it was not simply about an economic system.

    April 18, 2011 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  3. Tired of the nonsense

    More and more proof that the GOP has become the haven of the low IQ people.

    April 18, 2011 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  4. clarke

    I say think before you speak. Play nice, you really meant what you said, no excuse.

    April 18, 2011 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  5. Angela

    Are we in Nazi Germany Now? Republicans are going too far....

    April 18, 2011 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  6. embarrassed2

    Is it any wonder that so many of us have left the GOP (Grandiose Old Phonies) over the last several years? These people never cease to make themselves look ignorant, juvenile, racist and downright moronic. They are an embarrassment to America. They are so hell bent on getting what they want when they want it that they will do or say anything to that end. Fortunately, they usually wind up sticking their foot in their mouths and come out looking worse than ever. Is there any question as to why most people feel independents and democrats have a higher I.Q.?

    April 18, 2011 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  7. Henry

    Still any doubt to our Independent brothers and sisters about what Republicans stand for?

    You Indenpendents make the difference in the elections. You brought us these Republicans in 2010. Are you going to do this again in 2012?

    Please know that it may not look like the Repubs are coming after you now but, mark my words, they will in the future. Quit voting against your own interest.

    April 18, 2011 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  8. Phaedrus

    I think socialist is the new GOP scare tactic..just as communist was in the days of McCarthy

    April 18, 2011 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  9. Dave

    This guy is just a typical Republican. He is not capable of intelligent debate, so he resorts to throwing around the tried and true insults that always come from the right. It's boring and lame. It's so much easier for these lightweights than it is to come up with actual solutions.

    April 18, 2011 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  10. Cedar Rapids

    'This Politicial Corretness is a bunch of "Crap". The Republicians are showong they have some "Stone" not like the Democrates who walk around with their tail between their legs.
    If the Democrartes can't take the heat in the kitchen then they should get out, retire or resign'

    Gee and here was me thinking it was a democrat that stood up and challenged the republican who then backed down.

    April 18, 2011 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  11. Rick

    What the heck is wrong with socialism? The most successful countries in the world have much higher tax rates than we have, and their taxes pay for health care and college educations for everyone. The systems work; the people work; they're happier and healthier and better educated than we are. They have less crime as well. The problem is ... ???

    April 18, 2011 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  12. Debbie

    I'll retrack but not sorry. If this were children they would be sent to their room to think about their actions until they could show remorse for their worse. But our Congress continues to do this. It's like Kyl the other day flat out making lies about Planned Parenthood and then saying well I didn't mean for it to be factual. Hope Issa the investigator is on this! LOL

    April 18, 2011 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  13. InlandEmperor

    What a schmuck... who by the way is now entitled to a lifetime of paid retirement should his constituents decide in the next election to put him back in the private sector. But why should anyone be surprised. This country re-elected Bush "lite" and his cronies. Now when the stuff hits the fan as a result of their self serving policies instead of taking resoponsibility they become "Tea Party" members pointing their fingers at everyone else. Too bad for our country. Hopefully the silent majority will tire of this junk and tale our country back. Hopefully God will bless America...and help President Obama in his quest to right the eight + years of wrong bestowed on her people.

    April 18, 2011 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  14. DandyStryker

    "Socialist" is what stupid people say when they can't defend their point of view with logic and reason.

    Mo Brooks is stupid. And if he's offended at that statement, he's also "thin skinned."

    April 18, 2011 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  15. Norm

    "My statement was not meant to be factually accurate". He should have just thrown this line there... it seems like the think to do. Use "fear phrases" to get people wound up, or just simply lie about the facts, then toss out this disclaimer and you are good to go. I hope that, come election time, people remember how the GOP tried to make YOU afraid of THEM with LIES and "MISTRUTHS" all the while attacking the middle class, poor and elderly people in this country.

    April 18, 2011 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  16. Larry L

    It seems Americans outside of the radical right-wing are tired of GOP politics. The hatred, lies, bigotry, homophobia, xenophobia, sexism, and the distaste for the working class have become trademarks of the Republican Party. The slimy politicians from the red states (including my home in Texas) will say or do anything to generate anger and make themselves the darlings of the Tea Party wackos. This strategy is starting to backfire as Americans are beginning to call them out. Maybe a little honor and compassion can return to American politics when these scumbags are rejected.

    April 18, 2011 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  17. David

    If you look at America's political institutions at the far left of the spectrum would be socialism. That is what the GOP is promoting. However beware because at the far right of the spectrum is fascism which is a much more dangerous form of government. During George W Bush's administration America was closer to fascism than at any other time in our history. I believe the Republicans want a return to that.

    April 18, 2011 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  18. HMS

    You can use the term "socialism" but not "fascism". Where is the PC police.

    April 18, 2011 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
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